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Question about "smart TVs" . . .

by Coryphaeus / January 23, 2013 9:11 PM PST

I have a home network, and my server has many downloaded movies in .avi, .mkv, and .mp4 formats. Can the new smart TVs access my network and play these movies?

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All Answers

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Most do it rather poorly
by Pepe7 / January 23, 2013 10:36 PM PST

You are limited to specific files/formats, depending on which HDTV you are working with. My advice? Simply get a $50-100 media streamer, and access your files on the network that way. Much less of a headache, and you can now play almost any file/format vs a HDTV where this is mostly marketing hype and an afterthought. Files like MKV require more than most HDTV manufacturers are willing to shell out for this feature included in their firmware. Oh, and DLNA stinks, regardless of what anyone tells you on the interwebs.

FWIW, I use a WDTV live, which will play back almost anything. Only a couple of weirdly subtitled/downloaded files wouldn't play back sound or video on a couple occasions. The interface is somewhat dated however. A prettier and nicer user experience would be jailbreaking an Apple TV, then loading PLEX on it ;).

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I figured . . .
by Coryphaeus / January 23, 2013 11:00 PM PST

the file types would be a problem. I had connected my server (Levono tower) to my 55" Sony SXRD via HDMI and had the codecs in WMP-11 to play anything. Worked fine. But the area was just too cluttered for the TV and the PC. Just wondered if the new TVs would do what my server would do. Guess not.

Thanks for the reply.

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by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 24, 2013 12:34 AM PST

I see the first warning went out. Some of the TV's are "DLNA" and you run DLNA server apps on the server. Look up Serviio, Some of these work to make the content more playable so you don't have to transcode the video files.

The browser in TVs so far are quite a step back from any PC. Don't expect much.

What am I using? Not much. We have the usual BD player, Kindle Fire HD and the antenna for OTA hooked up. That's it for the big screen. Not a smart tv but the KF HD is a great player. Sort of surprised how good it is.

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